With my next trip to Nepal just a few weeks away, the following photos are an invitation to look back and briefly experience my third trip to Nepal in October 2014. Each of my trips to Nepal have been unique and full of differing challenges and distinct joys. This one was no different. Thankfully, I had my friend and colleague Diane with me, and she was the perfect travel companion. There is no replacement for a good friend for with to debrief, share laughs and sideways glances, and to experience amazing adventure! In the hard times, pizza also helps.
Others cried out for SUVs, I insisted on motorbikes. It was the right choice. I know Nepal well enough now to know it is better to ride something that only needs 1 foot of smooth ground rather than 8 feet of smooth ground.
I rode with a very skilled young driver, who couldn’t have been very different in age than me. He drove fast. He often broke away ahead of our group. It was at first frightening, then I enjoyed being with the best driver and with the one who didn’t piddle through sections, but just got to it. Unfortunately, he spoke barely any English. So we communicated mostly using various inflections of the word “okay” to convey meaning or ask questions.
The essence of international travel is the unexpected. The most significant unexpected change in plans came when I found out that the road leading the remote village in which I work was “gone” due to a heavy rainy season and various landslides. Gone. So after a 3 hour motorbike ride to the end of a drive-able road, we walked. We walked into the night-time. We walked through the rain. We walked through rapids that seen in daylight proved to be genuinely dangerous. We walked for 10-12 miles that evening, up the valley to the village at the convergence of two rivers.
My feeble iPhone 4S snapped this photo from the back of a motorbike and I feel like it didn’t quite turn out. But I had to snap it, because I wanted to be able to forever remember the white caps of the Himalayas poking through in the background and the contours of the mountains in the foreground. I was scolded by my motorbike driver -“Miss, hold me with two hands!” – for taking this photo.
See you soon, Nepal.